Friday, 14 March 2014

Mont St. Michel, Normandy

October 7, 2013 

Today we headed to Mont St.Michel! We were going to paint so I packed my bag of sketching material and boarded the bus with all the other excited group members. I had done some research so knew a little about our destination. Our teacher, Lin Souliere had been there before and was looking forward to returning. It was her suggestion that we spend the day at this amazing location. 

I know why now!

This painting is by workshop participant, Beverly Morgan, on return from Normandy. You can see more of her paintings on her blog. 

Our bus (18 passenger)  travelled along quickly and it wasn’t long before we could see off in the distance a mountain, no a hill, no an island with a hill….there it was Mont St Michel (English translation - St. Michael's Mount) .

Parking then walking, take your walking shoes, you don’t get too close to the entrance so need to be prepared. You feel like you are entering a mid-evil fortress that is still the home of those who built it. Duck your head, turn left or maybe it was right, and you are in the village of Mont St. Michel. There is so much to see, so much to experience it is difficult to sit in one spot and paint. Sorry Lin, I know that was the idea.
We decided to climb while we still had the energy, all the way to the top. We walked by the shops, looked into the restaurants but kept walking up. Cameras at the ready but then you had to remember to push the button and it was hard to do that as you were so busy looking.

I wish I could share with you my paintings that I did in my mind as I climbed. When I get home from one of these trips I am supposed to head to my studio and paint. That is the idea, collect lots of information, do lots of sketches, feel the moment and return to paint.
I would love to call myself an artist but first I am a traveller. Painting as I travel is the best way to collect memories. Doing this blog helps me to prepare for printing my travel journal. I use photos and sketches along with what I have shared with you and I have what I feel is a very very personal memory.

On the way down we stopped in a small café for a glass of wine. Two painters sitting at a table paint brush in hand, spent a wonderful hour or so capturing the view. 

We had planned this day with time to stay at Mont St. Michel long enough to have our evening meal before heading back to Chateau Hambye at days end. We were to meet the bus in the parking lot at 8:00 PM. There seemed to be a problem that we hadn't expected.  All the restaurants at Mont St. Michel closed around 2:00PM and didn’t open again until around 7:00 PM. We wouldn’t have time to have our evening meal and we were too early to find our driver for the trip back to the Chateau. In France many restaurants serve meals and many restaurants, serve snacks. We found one of these snack places and had a relaxing meal. (crepes) Certainly not what we had in our minds for dinner as we were dreaming of a small café, overlooking the water, high up on the Mont where we could experience a fine French repas, while we watched the sunset. We must go back prepared to stay for this experience.

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